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Formosa firethorn (Pyracantha koidzumii)

Present distribution


Scientific name:

Pyracantha koidzumii (Hayata) Rehd.
Common name(s):

Formosa firethorn

This weed is not known to be naturalised in Victoria
Habitat:

Endemic in Taiwan establishes on rocky valley areas, seashores, thickets and among shrubs (Gu & Spongberg, 2003). Now naturalised in Queensland (Richardson & Richardson, 2006) and a weed in ACT (WWF 2006). In natural ecosystems in Australia has naturalised and known to be a minor problem warranting control at 3 or fewer locations within a State or Territory (Groves et al. 2003).


Potential distribution

Potential distribution produced from CLIMATE modelling refined by applying suitable landuse and vegetation type overlays with CMA boundaries

Map Overlays Used

Land Use:
Forestry; horticulture perennial; pasture dryland; pasture irrigation

Broad vegetation types
Coastal; heathland; grassy/heathy dry forest; lowland forest; foothills forest; forby forest; damp forest; riparian; wet forest; rainforest; high altitude shrubland/woodland; high altitude wetland; alpine treeless; granitic hillslopes; rocky outcrop shrubland; western plains woodland; basalt grassland; alluvial plains grassland; semi-arid woodland; alluvial plains woodland; ironbark/box; riverine woodland/forest; chenopod shrubland; chenopod mallee; hummock-grass mallee; lowan mallee; broombush whipstick

Colours indicate possibility of Pyracantha koidzumii infesting these areas.

In the non-coloured areas the plant is unlikely to establish as the climate, soil or landuse is not presently suitable.
map showing the potential distribution of formosa firethorn
Red= Very highOrange = Medium
Yellow = HighGreen = Likely

Impact

QUESTION
COMMENTS
RATING
CONFIDENCE
Social
1. Restrict human access?P. koidzumii has abundant and large foliage (Bourdieu 1939) growing to about 4-5m height and 4 m width (Richardson & Richardson 2006; Brickell 1996). Formidably thorny and useful as a natural fence (COMTF 2007, www.nature.berkeley.edu/comtf/html/host_of_the_month_archive.html) and a good barrier plant (Page & Olds 1999, Burnie et al. 1997). Establishment of this species sparse or dense is likely to affect accessibility and become a high nuisance by forming an impenetrable barrier.
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2. Reduce tourism?P. koidzumii produces many white flowers and a prolific eye catching display of berries it is a particularly attractive plant. The shrub remains abundantly covered with fruit till winter (BackyardGardener 2007). It produces a high load of orange to yellow berries (Bodkin 1986). Plant when fruiting and flowering becomes obvious to visitors and is likely to have a major impact on the aesthetics of an area. Visual impact may be considered appealing by visitors. Width, fullness of the species and thorns may affect other recreation activities if the species was able to establish into dense infestations.
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3. Injurious to people?Formidably thorny and useful as a natural fence . (COMTF 2007, http://nature.berkeley.edu/comtf/html/host_of_the_month_archive.html). The species posses’ thorns for all of the year that may cause physical injury.
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4. Damage to cultural sites?P. koidzumii is grown as a wall shrub (Evenhuis and Eldredge 2003). Pyracantha spp have not been recommended for growing around the foundations of single story buildings because their accelerated growth rate can cause damage (Clemson). In addition the plant produces displays of yellow to orange berries that are extremely prolific (Richardson and Richardson 2006). High berry load and prolific flowering is likely to create a moderate visual effect and accelerated growth rate of Pyracantha species are able to have a moderate structural effect.
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Abiotic
5. Impact flow?A terrestrial species (Richardson & Richardson 2006) having little affect on waterflow
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6. Impact water quality?A terrestrial species (Richardson & Richardson 2006) having little affect on water quality.
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7. Increase soil erosion?P. koidzumii has a sprawling habit to 4-5 metres in height and 4 metres in width (Richardson and Richardson 2006; Brickell 1996). Plants from the genus Pyracantha have been reported to shade out native species (Weeds Australia). The likely consequence of this is the subsequent displacement of existing shrubs and the reduction in soil stability. Coupled with fast growth rates dense infestations may have a moderate probability of large scale soil movement.
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8. Reduce biomass?P. koidzumii has a sprawling habit to 4-5 metres in height and 4 metres in width (Richardson and Richardson 2006; Brickell 1996). Firethorns are known to establish around urban woodlands and forests and the plants from the genus can shade out native species (Weeds Australia) subsequently displacing species in mid and lower stratums. Furthermore coupled with fast growth rates dense infestations are likely to increase biomass.
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9. Change fire regime?An increase in biomass due to P. koidzumii invasions could subsequently lead to an increase the intensity of fire also because it provides a year round fuel source. However no information was found in the literature on the volatility of P. koidzumii or its impact on fire regimes.
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Community Habitat
10. Impact on composition
(a) high value EVC
EVC = Plains Woodland (E); CMA = North Central; Bioregion = Goldfields;
VH CLIMATE potential.
P. koidzumii’ height and spread of 4-5 metres (Richardson and Richardson 2006; Brickell 1996) is likely to reduce light to existing native species beneath the shrub. Firethorns have been described as shading out native species (Weeds Australia). Over establishment of Pyracantha koidzummi within this EVC, where large shrubs comprise of 5% of understory cover, is likely to create minor displacement of dominant species within the ground layer.
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(b) medium value EVCEVC = Semi-arid Woodland (D); CMA = Mallee; Bioregion = Lowan Mallee;
VH CLIMATE potential.
P. koidzumii’ height and spread of 4-5 metres (Richardson and Richardson 2006; Brickell 1996) is likely to reduce light to existing native species beneath the shrub. Firethorns have been described as shading out native species (Weeds Australia). Over establishment of Pyracantha koidzummi within this EVCis likely to create minor displacement of dominant species within the ground layer.
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(c) low value EVCEVC = Shrubby Woodland (LC); CMA = Glenelg Hopkins; Bioregion = Greater Grampians
VH CLIMATE potential.
P. koidzumii’ height and spread of 4-5 metres (Richardson and Richardson 2006; Brickell 1996) is likely to reduce light to existing native species beneath the shrub. Firethorns have been described as shading out native species (Weeds Australia). Over establishment of Pyracantha koidzummi within this EVC is likely to create minor displacement of dominant species within the ground layer.
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11. Impact on structure?“Naturalised and known to be a minor problem [in natural ecosystems] warranting control at 3 or fewer locations within” Australia (Groves et al. 2003). Significant environmental weed in ACT (WWF 2006). P. koidzumii’ height and spread of 4-5 metres (Richardson and Richardson 2006; Brickell 1996) is likely to reduce light to existing native species beneath the shrub. Firethorns have been described as shading out native species (Weeds Australia). Coupled with the species fast growth rates infestations are likely to have minor effect on 20-60% of the floral strata.
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12. Effect on threatened flora?The effect on threatened fauna has not been established.
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Fauna
13. Effect on threatened fauna?The effect on threatened flora has not yet been established.
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14. Effect on non-threatened fauna?Birds do not seem to like the fruit (BackyardGardener 2007; Bourdieu 1939). P. koidzumii may impact on habitat viability by shading out native species (Weeds Australia) and reducing vegetation structure within a community causing a minor reduction in habitat for non threatened fauna. Minor effects on fauna species.
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15. Benefits fauna?Birds attracted to wall grown P. koidzumii as potential nesting sites: the dense tangles of short, twiggy branches provide perfect cover and protection (http://arcadian-archives.com/pyracantha.html). Birds do not seem to like the fruit (BackyardGardener 2007; Bourdieu 1939). The species has more value as a habitat rather than a food source. It is likely to provide habitat to desirable species.
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16. Injurious to fauna?The plant is formidably thorny (COMTF 2007) hence it is likely to cause physical injury. Listed as a plant that is harmful to birds (parrots in particular) (TGP 2006). Most if not all species in the genus Pyracantha produce hydrogen cyanide and is found in small quantities in the leaves and seeds of the plants (PFAF 2007). Toxic properties unknown to native animals however spines on plant may cause physical injury.
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Pest Animal
17. Food source to pests?Birds do not seem to like the fruit (BackyardGardener 2007; Bourdieu 1939). May be a palatable food source to other terrestrial pest animals. No reports of P.koidzumii as a food source to pests were found in the literature.
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18. Provides harbour?Birds attracted to wall grown P.koidzumii as potential nesting sites: the dense tangles of short, twiggy branches provide perfect cover and protection (http://arcadian-archives.com/pyracantha.html). May provide harbour for pest birds.
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Agriculture
19. Impact yield?In Australia the plant status in agricultural ecosystems is as follows: “Naturalised and may be a minor problem [in agricultural ecosystems] but not considered important enough to warrant control” within Australia (Groves et al, 2003). Not considered an agricultural weed (GCW 2007). Impact on yield has not been documented.
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20. Impact quality?In Australia the plant status in agricultural ecosystems is as follows: “Naturalised and may be a minor problem [in agricultural ecosystems] but not considered important enough to warrant control” within Australia (Groves et al, 2003). Not considered an agricultural weed (GCW 2007). Impact on yield has not been documented.
Impact on yield has not been documented.
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21. Affect land value?In Australia the plant status in agricultural ecosystems is as follows: “Naturalised and may be a minor problem [in agricultural ecosystems] but not considered important enough to warrant control” within Australia (Groves et al, 2003). Not considered an agricultural weed (GCW 2007). Impact on yield has not been documented. Not considered an agricultural weed (GCW 2007). Affect on land value is negligible.
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22. Change land use?In Australia the plant status in agricultural ecosystems is as follows: “Naturalised and may be a minor problem [in agricultural ecosystems] but not considered important enough to warrant control” within Australia (Groves et al, 2003). Not considered an agricultural weed (GCW 2007). Little change in land use.
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23. Increase harvest costs?In Australia the plant status in agricultural ecosystems is as follows: “Naturalised and may be a minor problem [in agricultural ecosystems] but not considered important enough to warrant control” within Australia (Groves et al, 2003). Not considered an agricultural weed (GCW 2007). Impact on cost of production is negligible.
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24. Disease host/vector?Susceptible to armillaria root rot (Armillaria mellea) (Pittender & Hodel, 2007). Hosts the apple pest Eriosoma lanigerum in Mexico City (Ruiz et al, 1994). Phytophthora ramorum was found to persist on Pyracantha koidzumii cv. “Victory” subsequently concluding that P. koidzumii is a susceptible host for P. ramorum (Briere et al.) . Fire blight caused by bacterium Erwinia amylovora is able to infect Pyracantha (Schanbel and Jones 2001).
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Invasive

QUESTION
COMMENTS
RATING
CONFIDENCE
Establishment
1. Germination requirements?Fruit’s flesh can inhibit germination (PFAF 2007). Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification; sow it as early in the year as possible in a cold frame (PFAF 2007). The species requires natural seasonal cues for germination.
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2. Establishment requirements?P.koidzumii can tolerate part shade and grow in full sun (COMTF 2007). It can grow in full sun or semi shade (light woodland) or no shade and requires moist soil (PFAF 2007). It is adaptable to moist soils and conditions (Bodkin 1986). Although fruiting limited in shady position (PFAF 2007). P.koidzumii can be grown in the sun and is drought tolerant (Auburn University). Good for hot, dry areas and grows vigorously under good conditions (Oregon State University). Pyracantha young roots have an abhorrence of wet, compact soils and struggle to survive, especially throughout the winter months, when the soil is cold (http://arcadian-archives.com/pyracantha.html). Can establish under moderate cover.
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3. How much disturbance is required?Endemic in Taiwan establishes on rocky valley areas, seashores, thickets and among shrubs (Gu & Spongberg, 2003; Hsieh et al. 1997). Found to establish in Florida in a sandy ridge and hammock edge, gravel pit and in shrubby thicket (University of South Florida). Found along highway and volcano dump (Evenhuis and Eldredge 1999) and scattered individuals found in pastures in Hawaii (Evenhuis and Eldredge 2003). Establishes in relatively intact ecosystems and in pastures.
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Growth/Competitive
4. Life form?Evergreen perennial shrub (Bodkin 1986).
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5. Allelopathic properties?No allelopathic properties have been described in the literature reviewed.
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6. Tolerates herb pressure?Tolerates deer and rabbits (BackyardGardener 2007). P. koidzumii responds less well (compared to other Pyracantha species) to pruning and shaping (Burnie et al. 1997). This may indicate susceptibility to grazing. Tolerance to herb pressure unknown.
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7. Normal growth rate?Pyracanthas including P.koidzumii are described as very fast growing at times they can exceed 2 feet a year (Clemson). Moderately rapid growth rate that will competitive species of the same life form.
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8. Stress tolerance to frost, drought, w/logg, sal. etc?It is adaptable to moist soils and conditions, and is frost resistant and drought tender (Bodkin 1986) requiring adequate moisture in dry weather (Page & Olds1999). Conflicting information suggests that the species tolerates dry conditions (COMTF 2007) and warmer climates (BackyeardGardener 2007). The species is also described as drought tolerant (NC State University, Auburn University). Hardy down to zone 8 (-12 to -7C minimum average) (Oregon State University). P. koidzumii looks to be tolerant to frost, drought but susceptible to waterlogging.
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Reproduction
9. Reproductive systemPropagation by seed (Bodkin 1986).
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10. Number of propagules produced?No information on the number of propagules produced by this species was found in the literature.
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11. Propagule longevity?No information on propagule longevity was found in the literature.
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12. Reproductive period?Woody perennial (Bodkin 1986). Likely to produce viable plant propagules for 10 years or more.
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13. Time to reproductive maturity?Flowers and berries produced on wood that is at least one year old (http://arcadian-archives.com/pyracantha.html). Fruit is borne on second year wood (Page & Olds 1999). Approximately one year after planting the plant fruits was borne (Bourdieu 1939).
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Dispersal
14. Number of mechanisms?Birds do not seem to like the fruit (BackyardGardener, 2007 Bourdieu 1939). A commonly cultivated Firethorn (Evenhuis and Eldredge 2003). Deliberate human dispersal through propagation and although fruits are not preferred there still remains the likelihood that fruits may be consumed by animals.
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15. How far do they disperse?Birds do not seem to like the fruit (BackyardGardener, 2007 Bourdieu 1939). A commonly cultivated Firethorn (Evenhuis and Eldredge 2003). Deliberate human dispersal through propagation and although fruits are not preferred there still remains the likelihood that fruits may be consumed by animals. Very likely that at least one propagule will disperse greater than one kilometere
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References

Auburn University. Auburn University Horticulture Department. Plant Identification Resource. Pyracantha koidzumii. Available at http://ww.ag.auburn.edu/hort/landscape/dbpages/262.html

BackyardGardener, 2007, Pyracantha koidzumii, BackyardGardener.com. Available at http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantsearch.html

Bourdieu E 1939. United States Patent Office: 346. Pyracantha koidzumii. Patented November 14. Ventura California.

Brickell C (eds) 1996. The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopaedia: Garden Plants.

Briere SC, Llewellyn S, Kristjansson G. First report of Pyracantha koidzumii as a host for Phytophthora ramorum. General Technical Report. Centre for Plant Quarantine Pests. [Abstract Only]. Available at http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/psw_gtr196/psw_gtr196_008_P04Briere.pdf

Burnie G, Forrester S, Greig D, Guest S, Harmony M, Hobley S, Jackson G, Lavarack P. Dr, Ledgett M, McDonald R. Dr, Macoboy S, Molyneux B, Moodie D, Moore J, Newman D, North T, Pienaar Kristo Professor, Purdy G, Silk J, Ryan S and Schien 1997. Botanica: The illustrated A-Z of over 10,000 garden plants and how to cultivate them. Random House NSW.

Bodkin F 1986. Encyclopaedia Botanica: The Essential Reference Guide to Native and Exotic Plants in Australia. Angus and Robertson.

California Oak Mortality Taskforce (COMTF) 2007, ‘Host of the Month Archive,’ University of California, Berkeley.

CLEMSON, Home and Garden information. Factsheet: Pyracantha. Available at http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/HGIC1072.htm

Evenhuis N. L and Eldredge L.G (eds) 1999. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 1988 Part: 1 Articles. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. Bishop Museum Press Honolulu. Number 58. p. 9

Evenhuis N. L and Eldredge L.G (eds) 2003. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2001-2002- Part II: Notes. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. Bishop Museum Press Honolulu. Number 74. p. 31

Hsieh C, Huang T, Li Z, Lo H, Ohashi H, Shen C, Wang J, Yang K (eds) 1977. Flora of Taiwan. Volume Three. p.105. Available at http://tai2.ntu.edu.tw/udth/bin/fot1.exe/browse?BID=3&page=105

GCW (Global Compendium of Weeds) 2007. Pyracantha koidzumii. Available at http://www.hear.org/gcw/species/pyracantha_rogersiana/

Groves, R.H. (Convener) Hosking, J.R Batianoff, G.N. Cooke, D.A. Cowie, I.D. Johnson, R.W. Keighery, G.J. Lepschi, B.J Mitchell, A.A Moerkerk, M. Randall, R.P. Rozefelds, A.C. Walsh, N.G. & Waterhouse, B.M. 2003, Weed Categories for Natural and Agricultural Ecosystem Management, Bureau of Rural Sciences, Canberra.

Gu, C. & Spongberg, 2003 S.A. ‘Pyracantha’ in Flora of China, vol. 9. Available at www.efloras.org/index.aspx

NC State University 2004. Plant Fact Sheets. Shrubs Pyracantha koidzumii. Available at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/shrubs/pyracantha_koidzumii.html

Oregon State University. Landscape plants. Formosan Firethorn. Available at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ldplants/pyko-i.htm

Page, S. & Olds, M. 1999, Botanica, 3rd ed., Random House, Australia.

Pittender, D.R. & Hodel, D.R. 2007, ‘Selection of Landscape Plants (Table 13.1),’ University of California Cooperative Extension. Available at https://www.ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/5764/26245.pdf

Plants for a Future (PFAF) 2007, ‘Pyracantha koidszumii,’ Plants for a future database. Available at www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/database/latinP.html

Richardson, R.G. & Richardson, F.J. 2006, Weeds of the south-east: an identification guide for Australia, R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Meredith, Vic.

Ruiz, M.L. Zuniga, B.G. & Pena, M.R. 1994, ‘Morphological variations of Erosoma lanigerum (Homoptera:Aphididae) on Pyracantha koidzumii in Mexico City,’ Annals of the Entomological Society of America, vol. 87(1), p. 108-115.

Schnabel E.L and Jones A.L 2001. Isolation and Characterisation of five Erwinia amylovora bacteriophages and assessment of phage resistance in strains of
Erwinia amylovora. Applied Environmental Microbiology. 67. p. 59-64.

Talking Green Parrot (TGP) 2006, ‘Plants that are harmful to birds,’ Talking Green Parrot.

University of South Florida. USF Herbarium. Selected Specimen Details: Pyracantha koidzumii. Available at http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/herbarium/SpecimenDetails.aspx?PlantID=1355

Wang W, Wang Q, Li S and Wang G 2006. Distribution and species diversity of plant communities along transect on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Biodiversity and Conservation. 15. p. 1811-1828.

Weeds Australia. Weed Identification- Firethorn: Pyracantha spp. Available at, http://www.weeds.org.au/cgi-bin/weedident.cgi?tpl=plant.tpl&ibra=all&card=S25

World Wildlife Fund - Australia (WWF) 2006, National List of naturalised invasive and potentially invasive garden plants, World Wildlife Fund- Australia. Available at www.wwf.org.au/publications/ListInvasivePlants.pdf


Global present distribution data references

Australian National Herbarium (ANH) (2008) Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, Australian National Herbarium, Centre for Plant Diversity and Research, Available at http://www.anbg.gov.au/avh/ (verified 13 March 2008).

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) (2008) Global biodiversity information facility, Available at http://www.gbif.org/ (verified 11 March 2008).


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